One of the more moving experiences in serving in a church is witnessing people being transformed. Sometimes people will walk into the building and stay for their first service in years (or ever) and find themselves weeping. When we talk about it, they often say “It’s strange but I just feel like I have come home.” There is something immense about God’s embrace that we can find ourselves suddenly held in a healing and fully accepting love, and we weep with joy for how that healing feels and the possibilities it holds.
That feeling doesn’t just extend to buildings of course. When I was traveling in Jorden, I awoke to the call to prayer winding its way from the minaret into my open window and had that feeling of coming home. Given my English and Celtic roots, it may not be obvious why I’d feel at home in Jordan, particularly since I wasn’t yet part of the Christian faith, yet it was a beautiful testament to see how God calls in many places and forms. God is not contained by our experiences, beliefs or thoughts, and so we are in for a life of growth, challenge, and delight if we decide to come home to God!
In the lifecycle of the church, there have been times where spirituality has been more inward, such as monasteries, covenants and retreats, and times where it has been more outward, such as social justice, pilgrimage, and social services. There is always the dance between doing and being, and becoming and receiving. With God as your “home”, the Fall might be about exploring this dance yourself: how might your connection to God deepen through quiet practices, and how might you make your faith alive and real in your community through action? Perhaps we will be like the winding song of God, bringing us to silence yet moving through the world, calling us home.